Bi-Rite Creamery on 18th and Dolores Streets this month rolled out a solar-powered truck that will be serving its ice cream as the creamery’s normal brick-and-mortar storefront undergoes a seismic retrofit.
And, this being San Francisco, it required an act of municipal legislation. Bi-Rite is perhaps the first entity to use an ordinance passed in December that allows businesses undergoing a mandatory soft-story retrofit to more easily do business out of a food truck in front of its shop.
The law, sponsored by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, created a so-called “Temporary Mobile Caterer” permit that bypasses ordinary food truck restrictions –requirements that call for a stack of permits to run a mobile eatery.
Instead, a business can obtain the one temporary permit and not have to worry about being close to a school, 75 feet from another business, or operating during the same hours as an affiliated establishment.
“We’re really excited to have the Bi-Rite Creamery truck parked on 18th Street while our scoop shop is going through the seismic retrofit and redesign,” said Sarah Holt, Bi-Rite’s director of marking and community. “It’s incredibly important to us to be able to serve our community and take care of our staff during the renovation … ”
Decarlis Wilson and his friend Kat B. had just stopped by the truck on a recent Monday. Kat B. needed to be honest — this was a sub-optimal run to the solar-powered gourmet ice cream truck.
“I’m bummed out they didn’t have rainbow sprinkles,” she said, noting that she generally orders them on her usual “Vegan Strawberry Coconut” ice cream.
She also recommended that, now that Bi-Rite has some wheels, “the truck should venture out to show the Marina kids what’s up. We’re spoiled here,” she said.
Wilson was unconcerned about the rainbow-sprinkle deficit. It was his first time eating Bi-Rite ice cream — from a truck or otherwise. “It’s exactly what I needed,” he said.